Tag Archives: Conflict

Conflict prevention

Conflict prevention

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Conflict prevention

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Foreign and security policy > Conflict prevention

Conflict prevention

INTRODUCTION

  • Conflict prevention
  • EU response to fragile situations
  • Instrument for Stability (2007 – 2013)
  • Cooperation with ACP States involved in armed conflicts
  • Disaster and crisis response in Non-EU Member Countries

CIVILIAN CRISIS MANAGENT

  • Financing of civilian crisis management operations
  • Civilian Headline Goal 2008


Another Normative about Conflict prevention

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Foreign and security policy > Conflict prevention

Conflict prevention

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 11 April 2001 on Conflict Prevention [COM(2001)211 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Background

Many factors contribute to conflict – poverty, economic stagnation, uneven distribution of resources, weak social structures, lack of good governance, systematic discrimination, oppression of minorities, the destabilising effects of refugee flows, ethnic antagonism, religious and cultural intolerance, social injustice and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and small arms. To control these factors and ensure that they do not lead to conflict, the Commission has drawn up a list of potential causes of conflict to monitor.

The Communication is divided into three sections referring to the Commission’s priorities: long-term prevention, short-term prevention and enhanced international cooperation. An annex contains a list of recommendations for the three priorities.

Long-term prevention: projecting stability

As a promoter of integration, the EU has for decades maintained special relations with its neighbours, which have helped to maintain a high level of stability and prosperity. This regional cooperation has not stopped at the EU’s borders, and could also serve as an example to bodies such as Mercosur, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), which already receive EU support.

Trade is an important aspect of cooperation and development and contributes to conflict prevention. Through the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), the EU facilitates access to the European market for most products from developing countries. The system is based on tariff preferences at variable rates, accompanied by trade-related capacity building. Since February 2001, the Everything but Arms initiative has given duty-free access to the European market, without quotas, to all products from the least developed countries (LDCs) other than arms. These preferences may be suspended if a country’s political situation deteriorates.

Conflict prevention must be incorporated in cooperation programmes, since violent conflict rarely springs out of nowhere, but is the result of a gradual deterioration. Development policy and cooperation programmes are therefore effective instruments for dealing with the root causes of conflict. Their emphasis is on reducing poverty.

It is, however, not enough for the EU to be a major supplier of aid to the world. It’s approach must also be integrated, i.e. take account of each country’s specific conditions while seeking sustainable or structural stability, as in Salvador and Guatemala.

Country strategy papers (CSP) are an essential part of this integrated approach. They include an evaluation of potential conflict using the indicators referred to above. Conflict prevention measures will thus be incorporated in the cooperation programmes of countries with obvious risk factors.

For sustainable stability and conflict prevention, a healthy macroeconomic environment is also necessary. The Commission therefore provides financial support for appropriate economic reform programmes in highly indebted poor countries (HIPC).

A democratic deficit goes hand in hand with the potential for conflict. Countries at risk therefore tend to have a poorly developed democratic process, making external support difficult to implement. To support democracy, the rule of law and civil society, the EU conducts operations in the fields of transition, democratic elections, civil and political rights, freedom of expression and of the media, good governance, the development of civil society and gender equality. Particular emphasis will be placed on support to electoral processes, parliamentary activities and the administration of justice.

Measures to support security reforms (police, armed forces, etc.) and specific measures for post-conflict situations are also necessary. The latter include demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration (DDR), demining operations, particular attention to children affected by armed conflict, and measures to promote the reconciliation process.

A third aspect of long-term prevention is more effective handling of cross-cutting issues such as drugs, small arms, the management of natural resources, environmental degradation, communicable diseases, massive population flows, human trafficking and private-sector interests in unstable areas. The Communication gives examples of EU initiatives to combat the negative impact of these practices and explains the importance for conflict prevention of eliminating them. Private businesses in unstable areas have a responsibility in terms of a country’s socio-economic development and also in terms of their possible contribution to maintaining, or even creating, structural causes of conflict. Guidelines therefore encourage businesses to behave more responsibly. This includes respect for the human rights of local people, and non-interference in the political process.

Short-term prevention: reacting rapidly to incipient conflicts

In parallel with the long-term strategy, early-warning and rapid reaction capacity is also needed. Two classic EU instruments, of which optimal use must be made, are emergency economic assistance and election observers. It also has political and diplomatic instruments at its disposal, such as political dialogue, Special Representatives and the use of sanctions. In its recommendations the Commission proposes making political dialogue more focused and flexible, giving Special Representatives the role of full mediators and using sanctions preventively as well as reactively. It also considers that the civilian and military crisis-management tools developed in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) could be used in pre-crisis scenarios.

The EU also has a Rapid Reaction Mechanism with a single financial and legal framework, which facilitates Commission action in this field.

Enhancing international cooperation on conflict prevention

The Commission considers that the “Friends of” approach, bringing together a country’s suppliers of aid, is a good method for coordinating action with partner countries in post-conflict situations. Prevention also occupies an important place in the EU’s dialogue with industrialised countries.

In terms of international organisations, the Commission advocates enhanced cooperation with the United Nations, the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank and International Monetary Fund), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD) and the G8 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States). Such cooperation will take account of the specific characteristics of each organisation.

The Commission recognises the essential role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), particularly on the ground, and states its intention of emphasising conflict prevention in its dealings with them.

Conclusion

The Commission considers that the advantage of conflict prevention has been demonstrated, and is determined to mobilise Community instruments more effectively and with better coordination. It intends to direct its efforts towards:

  • building the objectives of peace, democracy and political and social stability more clearly into assistance programmes;
  • ensuring that account is taken of political and social exclusion, social and regional marginalisation and environmental degradation;
  • bringing added value to international initiatives on cross-cutting issues which are potential sources of conflict;
  • making effective use of other means such as trade and social policy;
  • developing new approaches and instruments.

In conclusion, the Commission states that the EU’s capacity for action is dependent on three factors: a clear definition of objectives, the capacity to act and, most importantly, the political will to act. A list of recommendations derived from the Communication is annexed.

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EC) No 2368/2002 of 20 December 2002 implementing the Kimberley Process certification scheme for the international trade in rough diamonds [Official Journal No L 358 of 31.12.2002]

Commission Communication of 29 November 2001 on Financing of civilian crisis management operations [COM(2001) 647 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Council Regulation (EC) No 381/2001 of 26 February 2001 creating a rapid-reaction mechanism [OJ L 57of 27.2.2001]

Commission Communication of 11 April 2000 on EU election assistance and observation [COM(2000) 191 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report: “One Year On: the Commission’s Conflict Prevention Policy”, March 2002

by the Secretary General/CFSP High representative and the Commission to the Nice European Council, 7-8 December 2000.

Financing of civilian crisis management operations

Financing of civilian crisis management operations

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Financing of civilian crisis management operations

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Foreign and security policy > Conflict prevention

Financing of civilian crisis management operations

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 29 November 2001 on Financing of civilian crisis management operations [COM(2001) 647 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Summary

In view of the need for more effective and reliable procedures for the rapid financing of civilian crisis interventions, the Commission has drawn up recommendations on the subject. It proposes a new flexibility instrument to permit the release of additional funds for external action, while remaining within the financial perspectives. It also believes that the procedures should be made less cumbersome and that Member State contributions could be considered in exceptional circumstances.

A new flexibility instrument

The Commission considers that since the Treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam established new instruments for action in this field, and given the scale of the crises with which the EU must respond, it is important to ensure coordination and cohesion between the instruments. There must be no confusion about the distribution of tasks. As in the case of the (RRM), it proposes a derogation from the rule requiring CFSP crisis operations to be charged to the regular budget.

Given that both Community and CFSP appropriations depend on the financial perspectives, the Commission considers ways of mobilising needed to respond to a crisis situation. One solution would be to create a crisis management reserve outside the heading for external actions. This would allow the EU to live up to its ambitions, but could also involve a revision of the ceiling. The Commission therefore feels that it would be more prudent to create a new flexibility instrument allowing the EU to respond to unexpected situations without changing the financial perspective ceiling. At the same time the use of the current emergency reserve would be extended to CFSP crisis interventions.

The new instrument should be backed up by improved management, with faster decision-making, adoption and implementation procedures. The mobilisation of the funds from the emergency reserve would follow the present rules. In the Commission’s view this arrangement has three advantages:

Member States only have to contribute when the reserve is exhausted;

  • there is no need to establish a new funding key; and
  • maintaining established budgetary management structures means that administrative overheads can be kept to a minimum

Background

The Court of Auditors has criticised the cumbersome nature of common foreign and security policy (CFSP) procedures for financing civilian crisis management. It believes that the Commission should be more involved at the preparatory stage and that transparency should be improved.

Civilian crisis management operations have four priority fields of action, established by the Feira European Council: the police, the rule of law, civilian protection and civilian administration. The source of their budget financing depends on their purpose and their content. Funds may come from three different budget lines:

  • the appropriate Community budget line, when the operations are conducted under a Community instrument (information or observation missions, training, economic and trade development incentives, mine clearance, human rights, reconstruction, food aid, humanitarian interventions, etc.);
  • the CFSP budget line for CFSP operations without military or defence implications (such as disarmament, support for peace processes, political assistance, etc.);
  • a budget other than the EC budget for operations under the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) with military or defence implications.

In the case of CFSP operations, procedures are becoming too cumbersome and threaten to reduce the potential and credibility of the European Union. The Commission considers that if the Community wishes to continue financing CFSP operations from the budget, it must note sure they can be implemented rapidly. Two options could be considered in the context of the CFSP to remove the budgetary constraints: systematic drawing on Member State contributions or increasing the flexibility of the regular budget. The Commission considers the second option more appropriate, since creating a new ad hoc fund would raise many issues concerning its management, control and coherence.

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EC) No 458/2008 of 26 May 2008 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2368/2002 implementing the Kimberley Process certification scheme for the international trade in rough diamonds [Official JournalL 137, 27.5.2008].

Commission Communication of 1 October 2004: Proposal for a Council Regulation establishing an Instrument for Stability [COM (2004) 630 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Communication of 11 April 2001 on Conflict Prevention [COM(2001)211 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Council Regulation (EC) No 381/2001 of 26 February 2001 creating a rapid-reaction mechanism [Official Journal L 57of 27.2.2001].

Council Regulation (EC) No 2368/2002 of 20 December 2002 implementing the Kimberley Process certification scheme for the international trade in rough diamonds [Official Journal No L 358 of 31.12.2002].

Commission Communication of 11 April 2000 on EU election assistance and observation [COM(2000) 191 Commission Report: One Year On: the Commission’s Conflict Prevention Policy, March 2002

by the Secretary General/CFSP High Representative and the Commission to the Nice European Council, 7-8 December 2000.